Public values theory: Three big questions

Bozeman Barry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


The "three big questions" of the title include • What is 'public value'? • Is public value different from the aggregation of private values? • Is it possible to identify and evaluate public values? The author provides qualified responses to each of these questions and then turns to the issue of public values and infrastructure, suggesting that infrastructure provides an especially useful laboratory for studying public value. First, infrastructure issues force an engagement of both public and private values and decisions about the nexus of the two. Second, infrastructures provide a good vantage point for studying both empirical and normative 'publicness'.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)369-375
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Public Policy
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Infrastructure
  • Public values
  • Publicness
  • Value analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Political Science and International Relations


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